Seamus Bellamy, BoingBoing:
You could look at this measure and say that it comes as a response to the threat of “fake news”: being able to keep track of who’s writing what could help to curb the dissemination of false information. Fine. But at a time when lawmakers are proposing that journalists and news outlets be licensed and our rights to digital privacy are being eroded, DHS’ searching for a vendor to undertake such a monitoring project feels pretty fucking sinister.
Freedom House, an organization that monitors incidents of media suppression, attacks on journalists and freedom of the press around the world, has been tracking an uptick in attacks on press freedoms over the past few years. Right now, if you visit their site, you’ll find that they’re not too concerned about what’s going on with press freedoms in North America. Should The Department of Homeland Security’s project be used to track, question, intimidate, or suppress journalists and the outlets that they work for, what they have to report about North America could look a whole lot different in a real short amount of time.